Friday, December 17, 2010

An Edited Blog Post

A few days ago I sat down and wrote a blog post (finally!) that started like this:

I feel like I should write a nice cheerful blog post but I am not very
cheerful. Sorry. Lots of things are wrong in my life and somehow they
all coalesce in my mind into One Huge Major Thing and that is The
Christmas Play at school. I signed up for this at my husband's request
and he was so smooth and convincing and made it sound so eminently
workable but right afterwards everything else started disintegrating,
like the tree, and the dog, and then Emily who was in Virginia going to
college and struggling with depression had a scary breakdown and limped
through finals and flew home, and some other stuff as well like the ants
being so bad in our kitchen you'd think we lived in Kenya again and they
can survive 45 seconds in the microwave, I am serious, and I assure you
it was an accident but the timer dinged and I opened the door and there
they were, scampering around, and there is something about that that
makes you feel powerless.

So as you can see it started out on a pathetic note and went downhill from there, and Paul thought it was a blatant beg for sympathy, but still it maybe helps to explain why I've been a bit absent lately in all areas of life, and I'm not as averse to begging for sympathy as Paul is. I'll paste in a few more explanatory paragraphs that of course were exaggerated in the heat of the moment:

So I had to do stuff like drive the dying dog to the vet and hold him
while he was put down and an hour later show up at school with a smile
on my face and direct a bunch of boys who were never
intended by God to be in a drama of any sort, ever, world without end,
amen, and I went completely against God's will for their lives and stuck
them in difficult dramatic roles involving walking out of that door and
into this one without talking, stuff like that, and have been paying
dearly for my audacity ever since.

And I had to, a few times, sit in the car talking to Emily in Virginia,
my stomach an icy acidic pit, and try to convince both of us that she
was going to be ok, while calculating in my head how soon and quickly I
could fly to Virginia to be with her, and then collect my wits and go
inside with a smile and direct boys again, and help a bunch of
chattering girls figure out who should wear which shawl and carry which
basket, and act like it all mattered, and this wasn't so easy either.

Then there was the paragraph about trying to make my husband feel guilty for talking me into it, but we'll skip that.

And then the overly dramatic paragraph about the program next year:

But I am thinking desperate things like, If I even mention directing the
play next year, take me out and shoot me, but that is too violent, after
all, so you have my permission to dump ice water over my head instead,
or better yet take me out for coffee and plead earnestly with me while
the white-coated men slip in from behind and take me off to someplace quiet.

And some more depressing details:

The play, by the way, is Why the Chimes Rang, which I used to think was
a charming story but now I think it has too much dialogue
and everyone will wonder what the point is, plus the grandmas won't be
able to hear, and I am going to have to prompt TR the night of, I just
know it, and the choir mikes won't help with the sound, I just know that

And more pathetic stuff about how this affects my life. I was really on a roll:

Meanwhile I have been leaving the bed unmade and the basket of laundry
sitting there for four days because I have been sewing a red cape for
the king and a hat for the baker. And making phone calls to track down
a crown, and hauling furniture to church for props. And working way too
hard to find benches for the church scene and finally settling on, for
one, the old coffee table that was stored in the shed and that dropped a
chicken feather on the new church-platform carpet.

And I will skip the paragraph about parents who had [justifiable] opinions about the play except to say:

I am thinking they should all
sign up to direct the play next year, that is surely God's will for
them, and His will for me is to stay home and wear a big apron and bake
Christmas cookies.

And things concluded on a higher note, including the QOTD:

So that is why I'm not very cheerful but the play is a week from tonight
and after that I will be in a much more cheerful frame of mind, I
promise, because no matter how badly it goes, it will be over.

Quote of the Day:
Me: How shall I celebrate when this (adjective) play is over? Maybe
I'll sit down and watch a movie. The whole way through. I haven't done
that in ages.
Emily: I know a good movie you could watch. It's a Christmas movie.
Me: Not The Christmas Shoes I hope. I don't need to be bawling my eyes
out again.
Emily: [wicked grin] No, it's called Why the Chimes Rang.

Dear me. See what I mean. You don't need to feel obligated to feel sorry for me, really. I signed up for this job, after all, and for this life, but I admit I didn't read the manual too thoroughly beforehand, especially that part about all the unexpected things that would slam me in the face. Ya, vell. Yesterday I called one of the moms involved to clear up a misunderstanding about the play and ended up talking for an hour about other things, such as her life, which is even more complicated than mine at the moment, and I found that extending sympathy did wonders for my own frame of mind. Plus some fine church people gave us some cinnamon rolls, coffee cake, and two jars of granola. That helped a lot too.


  1. Bless you,Dorcas! I'm sorry life is so crazy right now...and I hope Emily feels better very soon!

  2. See, this is why what you say resonates with so many of live in the real world and don't mind admitting your less than perfect moments. We all experience them, we're not all so humble as to admit them. I hope your Christmas (AFTER the play!) is all you could hope for.

  3. Why do men assume every time we're just trying to be real that we're begging for sympathy? :)

    I'm not a man, but I liked this post. A very fresh, honest perspective on the craziness life can be sometimes. I only tried the music-teaching aspect of it, not directing, but I can assure you, I understand what it's like to leave thinking, "What in the world am I doing? What made me ever think I could do this?"

    The play will be great. Somehow, at the end, even though you're sure it never will, it all falls into place.


  4. i'm sorry, Dorcas, and I feel like I should offer to help, but at the moment I have all I can do to handle my own problems. But I have one thing to say: DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES put me down as a parent who directs the play next year! :) PFC

  5. I could so identify with this post though now specifically. I love your honesty. I don't call it begging for sympathy either. This was one of your best posts yet in my opinion. So keep being real! And I hope everything in life starts calming down and looking up for you soon!

  6. Have you ever read "The Best Christmas Pageant Ever"? I think you could identify with it just a bit. :-)

  7. Sharon--Paul just read your comment and said, "Dorcas, you should tell Sharon that yes, you're familiar with The Best Christmas Pageant Ever and that's the play you're going to direct two years from now." Hilarious, isn't he?

  8. Yes, when it rains it pours...
    Prayers for some better days and a merry Christmas.

  9. adrOh, wow!! I really needed to read this. I think I had the Eastern version of your week. I hope both of our weeks get better. Thanks for this post. I really needed to laugh and realize I'm not the only one to get myself into situations where I wonder "What was I thinking".
    Merry Christmas!

  10. Sweetie, you'll make it! I empathize, though my feelings of ineptitude usually center around church kitchens rather than stages. Perhaps your Christmas play will have to be canceled like ours was this week because of two funerals. That resulted in needing to spend time in the church kitchen preparing a meal, but I made it through!~Edith

  11. Hear's something to look forward to - by the time you are one of the grandmas who can't hear, time (a GREAT many years!) will have sugarcoated your memories and you will fondly recall how much better it was back when you were directing!

  12. Rosy (from Plain City)12/18/2010 4:03 PM

    So, I'm sorry, I laughed my way through this post! I know the emotions expressed therein are honest, and I have felt them myself in different times, thanks for your honesty, and helping us all laugh at ourselves just a little when life is getting us down!
    I certainly hope this week is better and I would imagine the play will be much better than you think it will be now!

  13. Tell Emily that the first semester of the Freshman year is almost always the most difficult. It gets easier as one learns to deal with the responsibilities of courses. Many of us experienced a breakdown about the time of exams near the end of our first semester.

  14. You described my feelings of the past week to an absolute "T". I couldn't have expressed it any better and I'm not a pastor's wife or a teacher's wife, just a very busy wife and mother. Many of us can identify and we also know that it WILL get better! Bless you for being honest, not begging for sympathy.